Improve your business
Guides & Templates
What Are the Different Types of Entrepreneurship?

What Are the Different Types of Entrepreneurship?

Want to know what it takes to be a great entrepreneur? Learn about the five types of entrepreneurship and their importance in our economy.


Entrepreneurs create new paths and inspire others to follow.

Let’s take Steve Jobs, for example. Widely regarded as one of the most intelligent and inspiring leaders in business and technology, the late Apple cofounder embodied entrepreneurialism. 

Jobs built revolutionary products, created new opportunities, and gave innovative speeches in the classic Apple fashion we’re all familiar with. In fact, many people might be reading this article on an iPhone, an iPad, or a Macbook!

But it’s not about the products. It’s about personality. 

Here’s all you need to know about entrepreneurial personalities, the different types of entrepreneurship, and the importance of these individuals in shaping the world.

What is entrepreneurship, and who are entrepreneurs?

There are many different types of entrepreneurs. 

An entrepreneur is someone who starts a new business. They develop new ideas, oversee operations, and combine capital and labor to generate profit. They're also motivated to make a difference in the world — to be good leaders, great communicators, and inspiration sources in the face of failure.

We can classify entrepreneurs into three main types:

  • Builders: These entrepreneurs build tangible and intangible resources to scale businesses. Whether it's products, services, or human capital, they establish solid infrastructure over time and attempt to hire the best talent. 
  • Opportunists: They frequently spot opportunities and grab them. They observe the market, enter at the right moment, remain invested during growth, and reap the rewards when their business succeeds.
  • Innovators: These entrepreneurs develop brilliant business ideas and invent products that attract investors and customers. They aim to leave their mark on the world. Most innovators have dynamic temperaments that suit their goal for rapid progress and a never-say-die attitude to motivate team members.

What is the importance of entrepreneurship?

Entrepreneurs are fundamental cogs in the economic wheel. They innovate, unleash employment opportunities, and contribute to society. Here’s why they’re important:

  • Employment opportunities: A community grows when its employment prospects increase. Entrepreneurs introduce businesses and build infrastructures that promote employment. 
  • Society and community development: Entrepreneurs have resources at varying levels. Whether it's a regional area or on the international stage, entrepreneurship allows people to access and use products and services that lead to social and economic growth.
  • Research and development (R&D): Entrepreneurs delegate new products and services for inspection before introducing them to the market. This usually involves funding R&D with various universities, labs, and institutions, which thoroughly evaluate products before launch.
  • Economic growth: Entrepreneurs produce and sell products and services that meet consumer demands. This helps their companies generate solid revenues and raises the national income, resulting in economic development.
  • Social and technological change: Entrepreneurs create an innovation hub within their businesses. They leverage new technologies and resources as well as reduce reliance on obsolete methods. For example, Steve Jobs' Apple iPhone paved the way for many innovative products we use today.

What are the characteristics of a great entrepreneur?

We’ve talked about Steve Jobs. But what does he have in common with other great entrepreneurs such as Bill Gates, Lori Greiner, and Calvin Klein? Despite working in vastly different industries, successful entrepreneurs have a few common characteristics, including:

  • Versatility and flexibility: A great entrepreneur's adaptability allows them to cope with different scenarios and circumstances. This includes both external and internal factors. Plus, they're open to change and innovation, allowing them to tweak business strategies by incorporating the latest trends and technology.
  • Resilience: Staying headstrong through life's hurdles is any great entrepreneur’s key trait. They dedicate themselves to their work and are relentlessly committed to achieving goals.
  • Effective communication: An innovative entrepreneur must possess strong communication skills to establish healthy relationships with team members, stakeholders, and clients. This allows them to clearly and eloquently express their business models, ideas, and thoughts, convincing potential clients to turn into buyers.  


5 different types of entrepreneurship

Every entrepreneur adopts a different approach, depending on their industry, employees, and clients. As a result, they create various types of businesses and companies, such as:

1. Small business entrepreneurship

Small business entrepreneurs start without expanding into a multinational company or launching multiple chains and franchises. Small businesses usually have a single physical location, like a brick-and-mortar retail or grocery store, selling handcrafted products, locally sourced produce, and more.

In most cases, small business owners invest most — if not all — of their money into their companies. They hire local laborers and sometimes employ friends and family members. The revenue generated becomes their primary income source and supports their day-to-day living.

2. Scalable start-up entrepreneurship

Scalable businesses usually stem from a brilliant idea or a unique product. Entrepreneurs discover gaps in the market and develop solutions. Start-up entrepreneurs often believe their innovative ideas have world-changing potential. They look for rapid growth and high-profit margins.

These companies often need large investments to pay for resources, such as infrastructure and human capital, which they receive from venture capitalists. Then, they hire specialized workers to bring their idea to life and expand the business over time. 

Silicon Valley companies like Uber, Airbnb, and Amazon are well-known start-ups.

3. Large-company entrepreneurship

When small entrepreneurship snowballs, the owners may convert it into a large-scale business. Alternatively, larger companies buy rapidly advancing small businesses and start-ups to add to their conglomerates. For example, Mark Zuckerberg bought Instagram in 2012 and added it to the Meta (formerly Facebook) umbrella.

Large-scale corporations develop products and services that align with new market demands and are run by experienced C-level executives who understand how to create and maintain innovation. Large-scale entrepreneurship examples include The Walt Disney Company, Microsoft Corporation, and Alphabet.

4. Social entrepreneurship

Social entrepreneurs create nonprofit organizations that serve society and humanity. Their products and services benefit underprivileged and disaster-struck communities or help save the environment. Their bottom line is to help the world and solve social problems rather than seek financial gain.

Many companies today incorporate social entrepreneurship in their business plan. For example, Ben and Jerry’s donates 7.5% of its annual pretax profits to charity. The company uses its platform to raise awareness for social justice, environmental issues, and food sourcing.

5. Researcher entrepreneurship

Researchers explore their industry before starting their entrepreneurial ventures. A large amount of information and data allows them to focus on the pros and eliminate the cons. As a result, they can view all business areas objectively. Research entrepreneurs rely on facts, evidence, and numbers above intuition. They create detailed business strategies by weighing in potential results, which helps them reduce failure risk.

Henry Ford is a prime example of a research entrepreneur. Displaying research abilities from a young age, he enlisted the help of other boys to build makeshift water wheels and steam engines, which he learned about by befriending men who ran them. He also taught himself to repair watches and used them to understand machine design fundamentals.

Ford always knew he would build a car. But before he designed one, he extensively researched the target audience, how much they could pay, and the features they'd need in an automobile. These traits allowed him to build Ford into one of the most successful businesses in the car industry today.

Channel your entrepreneurial spirit with Practice

Whether you run a small business or aim to be the next big thing out of Silicon Valley, every entrepreneur needs guidance.

Entrepreneurial coaching offers that and more, empowering small and large business owners to discover their potential.

Find a coach and learn how to manage your time, boost self-efficacy, and set a five-year plan for your business.

Free content
Free coaching contract templates
We worked with our lawyers to create coaching contract templates, free for any coach to use. Plus, a couple of sample agreements.

Give your clients a simple and professional experience

Practice has scheduling, payments, client management, file storage and more — all in one place.
Try for free

Simple client management designed for teams

Delegate, collaborate, and oversee your client base across your team — without missing a step.
Learn more
Are you a coach? Take our quiz to find out if Practice is a good fit for you
Get started
Get a simple and professional experience for you and your clients
Get started
Text Link